COVID-19 Information and Resources
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We are committed to keeping you informed as we work our way through the school closures. We will continue to use our messaging system, website and social media to share updates as needed.
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November 18, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians:
This week, our county has moved back into the Purple Tier which means greater restrictions on businesses and schools. The district is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for our students and is cautiously proceeding with bringing back our Fourth and Fifth-grade students on November 30th. Our measured approach has been successful, to date we have only had one class quarantine for fourteen days, and one confirmed student positive Covid case while on distance learning. We appreciate the parents' open communication with our schools and letting us know if their family has experienced any Covid exposure and for keeping your children home if they are not feeling well.
During our Board meeting last night, we discussed the next steps in our district’s re-opening plan. We will welcome both our Fourth and Fifth-grade students on November 30th. Dena Boer will have approximately 229 students on campus, Mildred Perkins approximately 185 students, SES approximately 122 students, and Sisk approximately 135 students. Each of the site administrators are preparing letters with detailed information regarding entrance and exit procedures and the expected safety protocols our Fourth and Fifth-grade students will be required to follow. Fourth and Fifth-grade in-person teachers will schedule a Back-to-School type Zoom meeting for parents before your child(ren) return to school.
Our Kindergarten students will return after our Winter Break concludes. We will begin the process of finalizing details and communicating with parents as we get nearer the time to bring our Kindergarten students back.
Finally, an update on re-opening our middle school. The district waiver does not cover the reopening of the 6th, 7th and 8th grades. Our county must be in the Red Tier to be able to open the SMS campus. After much discussion, the Board chose to welcome our middle school students back on November 30th. We began planning to ensure a safe return of our students to campus. However, the county has now slipped back into the more restrictive Purple Tier and we are not able to open the middle school campus at this time. Once the county moves back into the Red Tier and has remained in the Red Tier for two weeks, then we will welcome our middle school students back to in-person learning. In the meantime, we will work with the Principal of SMS, Gena King, and staff to put together some cohorts for those students who have the greatest challenges with the distance learning model. Those cohorts will be a maximum of sixteen people, including staff, and may come onto the campus for some in-person learning time. We will provide more information as we finalize which population of students would be best served by this model.
Thank you for your patience and your support as we all try and find our way through this pandemic. Our teachers, administrators, and support staff are committed and have been working diligently to provide an exceptional learning experience whether in-person or through distance learning. Our challenges are sometimes great due to the ever-changing landscape, but I know together we can persevere and be stronger for it.
Criteria for School Re-Openings
California has a blueprint for reducing COVID-19 in the state with revised criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities. Every county in California is assigned to a tier based on its rate of new cases and positivity. At a minimum, counties must remain in a tier for at least 3 weeks before moving forward. Data is reviewed weekly and tiers are updated on Tuesdays. To move forward, a county must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks. If a county’s metrics worsen for two consecutive weeks, it will be assigned a more restrictive tier. Public health officials are constantly monitoring data and can step in if necessary. Learn more about the state and county tier system by clicking here or the CDPH website.
Californians are required to wear face coverings in public spaces - particularly indoors or when physical distancing is not possible. Read more on the state's face-covering mandate: covid19.ca.gov #YourActionsSaveLives
The Stanislaus County 2020-21 School Year Planning: A guide to address the challenges of COVID-19
School Waiver Process
Stanislaus County has been on the State Monitoring List since June 16, 2020. On July 17, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that if a county has been on the monitoring list within the prior 14 days, a school must conduct distance learning only, until the county has been off the monitoring list for at least 14 days.
In counties on the monitoring list, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance allows a district superintendent, private school principal/head of school, or executive director of a charter school to apply for a waiver from the Stanislaus County Health Officer to open an elementary school for in-person instruction. This waiver is applicable only for grades TK-6, even if the grade configuration at the school includes additional grades. The Stanislaus County Health Officer reviews the application and reopening plan (along with local community epidemiological data), and if the waiver application is complete submits to CDPH, for a decision to grant or deny the waiver. Elementary schools in counties on the monitoring list within the prior 14 days may not open for in-person instruction until they have received approval of the submitted waiver from the Stanislaus County Health Officer and CDPH.
Letter from the Superintendent Regarding Re-Opening Plan and Process
Letter from the Superintendent - July 14, 2020
Letter from the Superintendent - June 11, 2020